Existing conceptual, empirical and case studies evidence suggests that manufacturing industries find the joint implementation of Kaizen philosophy initiatives. However, the existing practices rarely demonstrated in a single framework and implementation procedure in a structure nature. This paper, therefore, aims to develop, validate and practically test a framework and implementation procedure for the implementation of integrated Kaizen in manufacturing industries to attain long-term improvement of operational, innovation, business (financial and marketing) processes, performance and competitiveness.
The study primarily described the problem, extensively reviewed the current state-of-the-art literature and then identified a gap. Based on it, generic and comprehensive integrated framework and implementation procedure is developed. Besides, the study used managers, consultants and academics from various fields to validate a framework and implementation procedure for addressing business concerns. In this case, the primary data was collected through self-administered questionnaire, and 244 valid questionnaires were received and were analyzed. Furthermore, the research verified the practicability of the framework by empirically exploring the current scenario of selected manufacturing companies.
The research discovered innovative framework and six-phase implementation procedure to fill the existing conceptual gap. Furthermore, the survey-based and exploratory empirical analysis of the research demonstrated that the practice of the proposed framework based on structured procedure is valued and companies attain the middling improvements of productivity, delivery time, quality, 5S practice, waste and accident rate by 61.03, 44, 52.53, 95.19, 80.12, and 70.55% respectively. Additionally, the companies saved a total of 14933446 ETH Birr and 5,658 M ² free spaces. Even though, the practices and improvements vary from company to company, and even companies unable to practice some of the unique techniques of the identified CI initiatives considered in the proposed framework.
All data collected in the survey came from professionals working for Ethiopian manufacturing companies, universities and government. It is important to highlight that n = 244 is high sample size, which is adequate for a preliminary survey but reinforcing still needs further survey in terms of generalization of the results since there are hundreds of manufacturing companies, consultants and academicians implementing and consulting Kaizen. Therefore, a further study on a wider Ethiopian manufacturing companies, consultants and academic scale would be informative.
This work is very important for Kaizen professionals in the manufacturing industry, academic and government but in particular for senior management and leadership teams. Aside from the main findings on framework development, there is some strong evidence that practice of Kaizen resulted in achieving quantitative (monetary and non-monetary) and qualitative results. Thus, senior management teams should use this research out to practice and analyze the effect of Kaizen on their own organizations. Within the academic community, this study is one of the first focusing on development, validating and practically testing and should aid further study, research and understanding of Kaizen in manufacturing industries.
So far, it is rare to find preceding studies proposed, validated and practically test an integrated Kaizen framework with the context of manufacturing industries. Thus, authors understand that this is the very first research focused on the development of the framework for manufacturing industries continuously to be competitive and could help managers, institutions, practitioners and academicians in Kaizen practice.